The Canadians Are Coming! The Canadians Are Coming!

My town has an air-raid siren. I never knew this because it's been silent for years, but apparently there's a very loud siren that used to blair every day at high noon here in Snoqualmie. People would hear it from all over town and know that it was time for lunch. It was a town tradition back when this was a milltown and long before the development I live in, Snoqualmie Ridge, propelled this tiny place to its current status as Washington's fastest growing town.

Now there's a movement to repair the siren and restore it to its functional state. It needs a $1200 clock. Or some such thing. I totally understand the desire for the longtime residents of "downtown" Snoqualmie to restore this siren. After all, their town has become pretty unrecognizable to them over the past decade, and this would be one way to restore some of its old-timey tradition. That said, I am totally not looking forward to leaping out of my pants everyday at noon when my internal flight instincts kick in at the sound of the air raid siren. I mean, sure, I'll get used to it eventually, like in three or four years, but what do I do till then? I wonder if the new grocery store carries Depends?

It wailed for an earlier, simpler time for Snoqualmie, an era when this was a die-hard Weyerhaeuser mill town, and steam whistles echoed across the valley. Now it's the state's fastest-growing city as young families head to the urban village of Snoqualmie Ridge.

Noon sirens were used to test a fire department's warning system. The daily sound-off ensured the alert worked for emergencies. But ever since pagers and cellphones, noon sirens have largely disappeared across the country. So newcomers often jumped when it went off. Visitors to the historic train depot in town would ask if it was an air-raid siren.

Here's the link to the Seattle Times article. Feel free to laugh at the comment that this air-raid siren is a "comfort sound".

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